If you are wanting to get a dog remember rain or shine the dogs will need to go outside for exercise as well as to do their business.  A cat will use a litter box that needs to be cleaned at a minimum of once a day.   If you have a dog waste bags are very cheap and easy to use.  They are a must if you are going to have a dog. 

Keeping your dog on a leash protects them as well as other dogs.  Your dog might be super friendly but who knows what another dog will be like?  As our dog Molly got older her hearing and eyesight were really bad and one day another pet owner made me so mad I wanted to cuss him.  Molly was at the time fifteen years old and about blind, she was sniffling around enjoying herself and all of the sudden a big puppy came running over and knocked her down.  She never saw or heard the dog coming and he really frightened her.  The owner was going on and on about how friendly his dog was and he just wanted to play which was fine but our dog was in no condition to play.  Our dog was on a leash and she did not deserve to be knocked down by a friendly dog.  Another reason for a least is the last thing we want is for our dog to run out in front of a truck and be run over.  The driver of the truck does not need that terrible feeling and we do not want our pet to have their lives ended this way.  A leash is for our pet’s protection as well as for others. 

Pets traveling all over the United States need to be protected from ticks and flea’s year around and if you have a dog they also need heartworm medicine.  Once a year they need to see the vet to have their rabies vaccination as well.  If you choose a long-haired pet a trip to the groomer is also in your future.  When we had our Cocker Spaniel, Molly, in the truck we kept her shaved in the summer to keep her cooler.  Year around we kept her lower legs shaved to cut down on the yuck she would bring back to the truck from walking in the truck stops.

With most pets, the cab air filters will need to be changed more often and a good vacuum or a hose to blow out the truck will be needed as well.  Pet hair gets on to everything and into everything.  If you have a calm pet as we have with Texas, our dog, we can use the vacuum on her that helps to get rid of loose hair.

Texas is a slob and she dribbles food everywhere.  She is one of those dogs that does not get excited about food.  She grabs a mouthful and then wanders around to eat spilling food out of her mouth the whole time.  Water dishes are also a must and they have a tendency to spill.  With Molly, I put her food and water in a tray to contain any water spilled and this was an easy cleanup.  Texas when drinking would get water all over the floor and the walls near her water dish.  I found a water dish made just for big dogs like her and this has solved the problem of her sloppy drinking and the water sloshing. 

Squeaky the cat was another matter.  He cannot drink out of Texas’s water dish and Texas likes to steal his food.  We made a closed in area that only he will fit into that contains his food and water.  We removed a vent cover and placed his litter box under the bunk for easy access from outside to clean and it is out of site.  These are also his hiding places when someone gets into the truck that he does not know.

Storing the pet’s food was another problem as Texas goes through a lot of food.  We finally purchased plastic containers that will stack to put her food in.  This worked much better than leaving the food in a thirty-pound bag.  We have also started doing the same for Squeaky all though he eats very little.  Measuring cups work well as food scoops as I can keep track of how much they eat.  Having an overweight pet is really bad for their health.

Texas and Squeaky both have the toys that they play with every day.  We have toys for inside the truck and then Texas has her frisbee and ball for outside the truck.  They also have chew treats to keep their teeth clean and to give them something to chew on.  As long as they chew on their toys and treats they are not chewing on the interior of the truck.

Walking the dog in the summer can be difficult when in the southern states and the pavement is hot enough to fry an egg, the pavement will also fry their feet.  Texas has been soft feet and this year we purchased her dog shoes and while they are not her favorite she has no choice as we cannot carry her when we are on hot pavement.  Texas is unusual as she took to the shoes very quickly and runs and plays with them on.   The shoes are also very easy to put on and take off.  The shoes also help to keep her feet clean when out walking in a parking lot.

Pets in the truck are work and they are expensive.  Their friendship, as well as their protection of the truck when we are not in it, are worth all of the work and expense.  Remember we are our pets whole world and they deserve the best we can give them.

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Linda Caffee

Bob and Linda started their driver careers after their children left home for college in 2000. Bob started as a driver for a large motor carrier with Linda as a rider. They decided to enter the Expedite industry as team drivers in 2005 and purchased their first Freightliner. Both, Bob and Linda have had their Class A licenses since the early 80's starting out driving in the oil field and hauling grain as fill in drivers where Bob worked as a diesel mechanic. Linda worked at the local country courthouse in data processing.

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